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"I think pure country music includes rock and roll .. I've never been able to get into the further label of country-rock .. how can you define something like that ? - I just say this: It's music. Either it's good or it's bad; either you like it or you don't" Gram Parsons
Les Miserables Medley
Billy Joel
Billy Joel
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. He released his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973. According to the RIAA, he is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States.

Joel had Top 10 hits in the '70s, '80s, and '90s; is a six-time Grammy Award winner, and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel "retired" from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled "All My Life," followed by an extensive "World Tour" from 2006-2008, covering many of the major world cities.
Paul Stookey
Paul Stookey
Noel Paul Stookey (born December 30, 1937 in Baltimore, MD) is a singer-songwriter best known as Paul in the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. He took the stage name "Paul" as part of the trio Peter, Paul and Mary, but he has been known as Noel (his first name) otherwise, throughout his life. Since the death of Mary Travers, he has continued to work as a solo singer and activist.
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd are an English rock band from Cambridge. The band initially earned recognition for their psychedelic and space rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million albums in the United States alone. Pink Floyd have influenced progressive rock artists of the 1970s such as Genesis and Yes; and contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Dream Theater.

Pink Floyd had moderate mainstream success and were one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the late 1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett. However, Barrett's erratic behaviour eventually forced his colleagues to replace him with guitarist and singer David Gilmour. After Barrett's departure, singer and bass player Roger Waters gradually became the dominant and driving force in the group by the late-1970s, until his eventual departure from the group in 1985. The band recorded several albums, achieving worldwide success with The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979).

In 1985, Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", but the remaining members, led by Gilmour, continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters sued them for the name and eventually they reached a settlement out of court, under which Gilmour, Mason and Wright would continue as Pink Floyd. They again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Waters performed with the band for the first time in 24 years on 2 July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert.
Hangad
Hangad
Hangád (Tagalog: "yearning" or "desire") is an inspirational vocal ensemble known for songs like Pananatili and Panunumpâ (covered by pop singer Carol Banawa). They have also recorded albums which are co-produced with the Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM), the musical arm of Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus.].
In 2006, Hangad won an Awit Award for Best Inspirational or Religious Song.
Ferran Obradors
Ferran Obradors
Ferran Obradors (1897–1945) was a Spanish composer.
Ferran Jaumandreu Obradors was taught piano by his mother, but taught himself composition, harmony and counterpoint. He became conductor of the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, and later taught at Las Palmas Conservatory. Between 1921 and 1941 he wrote four volumes of arrangement of classic Spanish poetry. One of the poems, "La casada infiel", was written by his friend Lorca. Although he wrote many works for the theatre, none have held their place in the repertoire. He is best known for "Canciones clásicas españolas", a song-cycle. His orchestral work "El Poema de la Jungla" recently became available on CD. Many of his contemporaries left Spain to find fame in France, but Obradors remained true to his Catalan roots. His first surname is sometimes split into two Catalan names – Jaume Andreu.
Emmett
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian-born American composer and lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters in history. Berlin was one of the few Tin Pan Alley/Broadway songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his songs. Although he never learned to read music beyond a rudimentary level, with the help of various uncredited musical assistants or collaborators, he eventually composed over 3,000 songs, many of which (e.g. "God Bless America", "White Christmas", "Anything You Can Do", "There's No Business Like Show Business") left an indelible mark on music and culture worldwide. He composed seventeen film scores and twenty-one Broadway scores.
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. His works include the musical comedies Kiss Me, Kate, Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady and Anything Goes, as well as songs like "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!" and "I've Got You Under My Skin". He was noted for his sophisticated, bawdy lyrics, clever rhymes and complex forms. Porter was one of the greatest contributors to the Great American Songbook. Cole Porter is one of the few Tin Pan Alley composers to have written both the lyrics and the music for his songs.
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz (December 11, 1803 – March 8, 1869) was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a conductor, he performed several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians. He also composed around 50 songs. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many others.
Hanako Oku
Hanako Oku
Hanako Oku (奥 華子 Oku Hanako?, born March 20, 1978 in Funabashi, Chiba, Japan) is a J-Pop singer famous in her native Japan for her piano ballads. She rose to fame after performing the end-title track for the Madhouse film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in 2006. She was signed to a major record label the preceding year.
Abt
Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst
Gustav Theodore Holst (21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer and was a music teacher for nearly 20 years. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets. Having studied at the Royal College of Music in London, his early work was influenced by Ravel, Grieg, Richard Strauss, and fellow student Ralph Vaughan Williams, but most of his music is highly original, with influences from Hindu spiritualism and English folk tunes. Holst's music is well known for unconventional use of metre and haunting melodies.

Holst wrote almost 200 catalogued compositions, including orchestral suites, operas, ballets, concertos, choral hymns, and songs (see Selected works below).

Holst became music master at St Paul's Girls' School in 1905 and director of music at Morley College in 1907, continuing in both posts until retirement.

He was the brother of Hollywood actor Ernest Cossart and father of the composer and conductor Imogen Holst, who wrote a biography of him in 1938.
Lee Roberts
Leland Stanford Roberts (1884–1949), commonly known as Lee S. Roberts, was an American composer and pianist.
He is best known for his composition 'Smiles', written in 1917, but was a prolific composer across many genres of music.
He was also the Vice-President of the QRS Music Roll Company, and recorded hundreds of piano rolls under his name and also the pseudonym Stanford Robar. He was particularly active in recording salon and ballad style music.
Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams (born Bryan Guy Adams on November 5, 1959) is Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter. As of 2008, Adams has released eleven studio albums and 16 albums overall. He has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards and 5 Golden Globes for song writing in motion pictures.

Adams is a Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter. Adams' career was launched with his 1980 debut album Bryan Adams, a rock album that garned limited success. His fourth album Reckless was released in 1984 with sales more then five million copies sold in the United States. In 1991, he released Waking Up the Neighbours which debuted at number one on several national music charts. The album reached sales of more than 10 million units worldwide, which 3 million copies was sold in the United States.
Seatrain
Seatrain
Seatrain was an American roots fusion band based initially in Marin County, California, and later in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Seatrain was formed after the breakup of the Blues Project in 1969. The group, which recorded four albums, disbanded in 1973.

Flutist/bassist Andy Kulberg and drummer Roy Blumenfeld of Blues Project formed the band with Jim Roberts, ex-Mystery Trend guitarist John Gregory, former Jim Kweskin Jug Band violinist/fiddler Richard Greene, and saxophonist Don Kretmar. Seatrain recorded their first album, Planned Obsolescence, in 1968, but had to release it as a Blues Project album for contractual reasons. In 1969, they released a self-titled LP (Sea Train), but faced a major change in membership a few months later.
The group's second self-titled album was released in 1970 under the single-word name Seatrain. By then, Blumenfeld, Gregory, and Kretmar had been replaced by drummer Larry Atamanuik, keyboardist Lloyd Baskin, and Earth Opera guitarist Peter Rowan. The album's "13 Questions" was released as a single and became a minor hit in the US, reaching #49 on Billboard's national chart. Other outstanding cuts include a cover of Lowell George's "Willin'", the vocally splendid "Out Where The Hills", the biblically-based "Song of Job", and a raucous electric version of the fiddle classic "Orange Blossom Special".
George Martin produced the album, marking the first time he had acted in that capacity with a rock act since his work with the Beatles. He also produced Seatrain's much-anticipated follow-up album, Marblehead Messenger. However, Rowan and Greene left the band soon after to form Muleskinner, while Roberts and Atamanuik joined the backing band of Emmylou Harris. Kulberg and Baskin replaced these members with guitarist Peter Walsh, keyboardist Bill Elliot, and drummer Julio Coronado, but only released one more album, 1973's Watch.
Queen/David Bowie
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Nadine Morissette (born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-born singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has won 12 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, and has sold over 55 million albums worldwide. Morissette began her career in Canada, and as a teenager recorded two dance-pop albums, Alanis and Now Is the Time, under MCA Records. Her international debut album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, which remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the highest selling debut album worldwide in music history, selling 30 million records worlwide. According to RIAA and United World Charts, Alanis is the biggest selling female rock artist in music. Her following album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998 and was a success as well. Morissette took up producing duties for her subsequent albums, which include Under Rug Swept, So-Called Chaos and latest release Flavors of Entanglement. In February 2005, Morissette became a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining her Canadian citizenship.
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Songs from the musical that have become standards include "The Sound of Music", "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", and "Do-Re-Mi".

The original Broadway production opened in November 1959, and the show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then. It has also been made into an Academy Award-winning 1965 movie musical. The Sound of Music was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tony Britten
Tony Britten
Tony Britten is an English composer, best known for writing the music for the UEFA Champions League Anthem.
Graham Kendrick
Graham Kendrick
Graham Kendrick (born on 2 August 1950, Blisworth, Northamptonshire) is a prolific British Christian singer-songwriter and worship leader. He is the son of Baptist pastor, the Revd. M. D. Kendrick. He now lives in Croydon and is a former member of Ichthus Christian Fellowship. Together with Roger Forster, Gerald Coates and Lynne Green, he was a founder of March for Jesus.
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello (born Declan Patrick MacManus, 25 August 1954) is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader than that of most popular songs. His music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a "pop encyclopedia", able to "reinvent the past in his own image".
Costello has won multiple awards in his career, including a Grammy Award, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male. In 2003, Elvis Costello & the Attractions was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand (born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, film and theatre actress. She has also achieved some note as a composer, political activist, film producer and director. She has won Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Original Song as well as multiple Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and Golden Globe Awards.

She is one of the most commercially and critically successful female entertainers in modern entertainment history and one of the best selling solo recording artists in the US, with RIAA-certified shipments of over 71 million albums. She is the highest ranking female artist on the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) Top Selling Artists list.

Streisand is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award.
Hillsong United
Hillsong United
The Hillsong United band is an Australian rock and worship band, a part of Hillsong Church's youth ministry Hillsong United. Their music is a contemporary style of praise and worship tempered with mainstream rock.

Current members of the Hillsong United band include Jonathon Douglass (J.D.), Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Holly Watson, Annie Garratt, Bec Gillies, and Michelle Fragar, daughter of Russell Fragar. Michael Guy Chislett plays guitar and Matthew Tennikoff plays bass guitar. Former original drummer Luke Munns made a transition from the drums to front the rock/indie band LUKAS. Popular New Zealand artist Brooke Fraser recently joined the band when she joined the church, first appearing on United We Stand.

The annual Hillsong United CD/DVD was recorded over many years during their October youth conference Encounterfest, with the album released in the first quarter of the following year. The 2007 album All of the Above was the first album to be fully studio recorded, containing videos of songs on the DVD. The band has toured in a number of countries, leading worship to thousands in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Lotti
Milton Ager
Milton Ager
Milton Ager (October 6, 1893 – May 6, 1979) was an American composer.
Ager was born in Chicago, Illinois, the sixth of nine children. Leaving school with only three years of formal high-school education, he taught himself to play the piano and embarked on a career as a musician. After spending time as an accompanist to silent movies, he moved to New York to write music. During World War I he served as a morale officer.
Ager also was a music publisher in partnership with his frequent musical collaborator, lyricist Jack Yellen. He moved to Hollywood where he made a living writing songs for film. On his death, Milton Ager was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Bonnie Tyler
Bonnie Tyler
Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins; 8 June 1951) is a Welsh singer. She is known for her distinctive husky voice, resulting from an operation to remove vocal nodules in the mid-1970s. Tyler came to prominence with the release of her 1977 album The World Starts Tonight and its singles "Lost in France" and "More Than a Lover". Her 1978 single "It's a Heartache" reached number four on the UK Singles Chart, and number three on the US Billboard Hot 100.

In the 1980s, Tyler ventured into rock music with songwriter and producer Jim Steinman. He wrote Tyler's biggest hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart'", the lead single from her 1983 UK chart topping album Faster Than the Speed of Night. Steinman also wrote Tyler's other major 1980s hit "Holding Out for a Hero". She had success in mainland Europe during the 1990s with German producer Dieter Bohlen, releasing three albums. In 2003, Tyler re-recorded "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with singer Kareen Antonn. Their bilingual duet topped the French charts.
Anastacia
Anastacia
Anastacia (born Anastacia Lyn Newkirk; September 17, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter. Anastacia has been highly successful in Europe, Asia, South Africa and South America, but has had only minor success in her native United States. Her debut album, Not That Kind, released in 2000, achieved multi-platinum sales in Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe, was critically acclaimed by Elton John and Michael Jackson, and had the 4th biggest European single and biggest Australian single of 2000. She was awarded 'Best-selling International Artist' in 2000. Her next two albums also earned multi-platinum sales throughout Europe and Oceania making her one of the fastest and biggest-selling artists of the new millennium.
In 2005, she was recognized for worldwide sales of over 20 million albums/records. Anastacia is world-renowned for her powerful soul voice, and her small stature – 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm). She was also known for her trademark glasses (often darkly tinted), but she had surgery to correct her vision permanently in August 2005.
Les Miserables
Les Miserables
Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is a musical composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil. Sung through, it is perhaps the most famous of all French musicals and one of the most performed musicals worldwide. On October 8, 2006, the show celebrated its 21st anniversary and became the longest-running West End musical in history and is still running (though it has changed venues).

Among the most famous songs of this Tony award-winning musical are "I Dreamed a Dream", "One Day More", "A Heart Full of Love", "Stars", "Bring Him Home", "Do You Hear the People Sing?", "Master of the House", and "On My Own."

The musical is based on the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Set in early 19th century France, it follows the intertwining stories of a cast of characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. The characters include a paroled convict named Jean Valjean who, failing attempts to find work as an honest man with his yellow ticket of leave, breaks his parole and conceals his identity; the police inspector Javert who becomes obsessed with finding Valjean; Fantine, the single mother who is forced to become a prostitute to support her daughter; Cosette, who eventually falls in love with a French student named Marius Pontmercy. After Fantine dies, Cosette becomes Jean Valjean's adopted daughter; the Thénardiers, the unscrupulous innkeepers who thrive on cheating and stealing; Éponine, their young daughter who is hopelessly in love with Marius; Gavroche, a young beggar boy; and student leader Enjolras who plans the revolt to free the oppressed lower classes of France. The main characters are joined by an ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers, and others.
Jerry Bock
Jerry Bock
Jerrold Lewis "Jerry" Bock (November 23, 1928 – November 3, 2010) was an American musical theater composer. He received the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Sheldon Harnick for their 1959 musical Fiorello! and the Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist for the 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof with Harnick.
Mikael Tariverdiev
Mikael Tariverdiev
Mikael Tariverdiev (Russian: Микаэл Таривердиев; (15 August 1931, Tbilisi, Georgia - 24 June 1996, Sochi, Russia) was a prominent Soviet composer of Armenian descent. He headed the Composers' Guild of Soviet Cinematographers' Union from its inception.

He was born in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR to Armenian parents, but lived and worked in Russia. He graduated from Moscow Gnessin Institute (in the class of Aram Khachaturian).
He is an author of over 100 romances and 4 operas, including the comic opera Graf Cagliostro and monoopera "The Waiting". But he is best known for his music in many popular Soviet movies (more than 130 films, included "Seventeen Moments of Spring" and "The Irony of Fate" - see List of film music by Mikael Tariverdiev).

Mikael Tariverdiev was a recipient of many awards, including the USSR State Prize (1977) and the Prize of the American Music Academy (1975). He was awarded a title People's Artist of Russia in 1986. He won three Nika Awards for Best Composer in the 1990s.

The Best Music prize at the largest Russian National Film Festival Kinotaur is named after Tariverdiev. After the Tariverdiev's death a group of admirers of his music organized the Mikael Tariverdiev Charity Fund and Tariverdiev International Organ Competition.
Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in csarist Russia in 1905.

Fiddler on the Roof was originally entitled Tevye. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Milkman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem which he wrote in Yiddish and published in 1894. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope with both the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters—each daughter's choice of husband moves progressively further away from established customs—and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.

The musical's title stems from a painting by Marc Chagall, one of many surreal paintings he created of Eastern European Jewish life, often including a fiddler. The Fiddler is a metaphor for survival, through tradition and joyfulness, in a life of uncertainty and imbalance.

The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, was the first musical to surpass the 3,000 performance mark, and it held the record for longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run. The production earned $1,574 for every dollar invested in it.

The show was highly acclaimed and nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning nine, including Best Musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned four Broadway revivals, a successful 1971 film adaptation, and has enjoyed enduring international popularity. It is also a very popular choice for school and community productions.
Vivaldi
Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was a Venetian priest and Baroque music composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist; he was born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.

Many of Vivaldi's compositions reflect a flamboyant, almost playful, exuberance. Most of Vivaldi's repertoire was rediscovered only in the first half of the 20th century in Turin and Genoa and was published in the second half. Vivaldi's music is innovative, breaking a consolidated tradition in schemes; he gave brightness to the formal and the rhythmic structure of the concerto, repeatedly looking for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes. Moreover, Vivaldi was able to compose nonacademic music, particularly meant to be appreciated by the wide public and not only by an intellectual minority. The joyful appearance of his music reveals in this regard a transmissible joy of composing; these are among the causes of the vast popularity of his music. This popularity soon made him famous in other countries such as France which was, at the time, very independent concerning its musical taste.

Vivaldi is considered one of the composers who brought Baroque music (with its typical contrast among heavy sonorities) to evolve into a classical style. Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his Johannes Passion, Matthäuspassion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed a number of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, along with a number for orchestra, including the famous Concerto for Four Violins and Violoncello, Strings and Continuo (RV 580).
Kiss Me, Kate
Kiss Me, Kate
Kiss Me, Kate is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. It is structured as a play within a play, where the interior play is a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew.

Kiss Me, Kate was a comeback and a personal triumph for Cole Porter. After several successful musicals in the 1930s, notably Anything Goes, Du Barry Was a Lady, and Panama Hattie, he experienced an equestrian accident in 1937 that left him in constant pain. Following the accident, he continued to write songs and musicals but with limited success, and some thought he was past his prime. Kiss Me, Kate was a response to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! and other integrated musicals, and it proved to be his biggest hit and the only one of his shows to run for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. It won the first Tony Award presented for Best Musical, in 1949.
Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 – November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. While not part of the nationalistic music group known as "The Five", Tchaikovsky wrote music which, in the opinion of Harold Schonberg, was distinctly Russian: plangent, introspective, with modally-inflected melody and harmony.

Aesthetically, Tchaikovsky remained open to all aspects of Saint Petersburg musical life. He was impressed by Serov and Balakirev as well as the classical values upheld by the conservatory. Both the progressive and conservative camps in Russian music at the time attempted to win him over. Tchaikovsky charted his compositional course between these two factions, retaining his individuality as a composer as well as his Russian identity. In this he was influenced by the ideals of his teacher Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai's brother Anton.

Tchaikovsky's musical cosmopolitanism led him to be favored by many Russian music-lovers over the "Russian" harmonies and styles of Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Nonetheless he frequently adapted Russian traditional melodies and dance forms in his music, which enhanced his success in his home country. The success in St. Petersburg at the premiere of his Third Orchestral Suite may have been due in large part to his concluding the work with a polonaise. He also used a polonaise for the final movement of his Third Symphony.
John Denver
John Denver
John Denver (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., was an American Country Music/folk singer-songwriter and folk rock musician. One of the most popular artists of the 1970s, he recorded and released some 300 songs, about half composed by himself. He was named Poet Laureate of Colorado in 1977. Songs such as "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (1967), "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (1971), "Rocky Mountain High" (1973), "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" (1974), "Annie's Song" (1974), "Sunshine on My Shoulders" (1974), and "Calypso" (1975) are popular worldwide. Denver has been referred to as "The Poet for the Planet", "Mother Nature's Son" (based on The Beatles song he covered) and "A Song's Best Friend".
Schumann
Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes given as Robert Alexander Schumann, (June 8, 1810 – July 29, 1856) was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is one of the most famous Romantic composers of the 19th century.

He had hoped to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist, having been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe after only a few years of study with him. However, a hand injury prevented those hopes from being realized, and he decided to focus his musical energies on composition. Schumann's published compositions were, until 1840, all for the piano; he later composed works for piano and orchestra, many lieder (songs for voice and piano), four symphonies, an opera, and other orchestral, choral and chamber works. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik ("The New Journal for Music"), a Leipzig-based publication that he jointly founded.

In 1840, after a long and acrimonious legal battle with his piano instructor Friedrich Wieck, Schumann married Wieck's daughter, pianist Clara Wieck, a considerable figure of the Romantic period in her own right. Clara Wieck showcased many works by her husband as well. For the last two years of his life, after an attempted suicide, Schumann was confined to a mental institution.
ABBA
ABBA
ABBA was a Swedish Eurovision Song Contest-winning pop music group active between 1972 and 1982. Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Agnetha Fältskog are in ABBA. They topped the charts worldwide from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group member's given name (Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid).

ABBA gained immense international popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, and a Wall of Sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. As their popularity grew, they were sought-after to tour Europe, Australia, and North America, drawing crowds of near-hysterical fans ("ABBAholics"), notably in Australia. Touring became a contentious issue, being particularly unpopular with Agnetha, but they continued to release studio albums to great commercial success. At the height of their popularity, however, both marriages of the band members (Benny with Frida, and Björn with Agnetha) failed, and the relationship changes were reflected in their music, as they produced more thoughtful lyrics with different compositions.

They remain a fixture of radio playlists and are one of the world's best selling bands, having sold around 400 million records world wide; The music of ABBA has been re-arranged into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that has toured worldwide and a movie version was released in July 2008. All four of the former members of ABBA were present at the Stockholm premieres of both the musical (2005) and the film (2008). The film première took place at the Benny Andersson-owned Rival theatre at Mariatorget, Stockholm on 4 July 2008.
Haydn
Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) was one of the most prominent composers of the classical period, and is called by some the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet".

A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent most of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Hungarian Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original".

Although Haydn is still often called "Franz Joseph Haydn", the composer did not use the name "Franz" during his lifetime and this misnomer is avoided by modern scholars and historians. Joseph Haydn was the brother of Michael Haydn, himself a highly regarded composer, and Johann Evangelist Haydn, a tenor.

A central characteristic of Haydn's music is the development of larger structures out of very short, simple musical motifs, often derived from standard accompanying figures. The music is often quite formally concentrated, and the important musical events of a movement can unfold rather quickly.

Haydn's work was central to the development of what came to be called sonata form. His practice, however, differed in some ways from that of Mozart and Beethoven, his younger contemporaries who likewise excelled in this form of composition. Haydn was particularly fond of the so-called "monothematic exposition", in which the music that establishes the dominant key is similar or identical to the opening theme. Haydn also differs from Mozart and Beethoven in his recapitulation sections, where he often rearranges the order of themes compared to the exposition and uses extensive thematic development.

Perhaps more than any other composer's, Haydn's music is known for its humour. The most famous example is the sudden loud chord in the slow movement of his "Surprise" symphony; Haydn's many other musical jokes include numerous false endings (e.g., in the quartets Op. 33 No. 2 and Op. 50 No. 3), and the remarkable rhythmic illusion placed in the trio section of the third movement of Op. 50 No. 1.
Monteverdi
Monteverdi
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (May 15, 1567 (baptized) – November 29, 1643), was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.

Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the music of the Renaissance to that of the Baroque. Enjoying fame in his lifetime, he wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, which is still regularly performed.

Monteverdi composed at least eighteen operas, but only L'Orfeo, L'incoronazione di Poppea, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and the famous aria, Lamento, from his second opera L'Arianna have survived. From monody (with melodic lines, intelligible text and placid accompanying music), it was a logical step for Monteverdi to begin composing opera, especially for a dramatically inclined composer who loved grand effect. In 1607, the premiere of his first opera, L'Orfeo, took place in Mantua. It was normal at that time for composers to create works on demand for special occasions, and this piece was part of the ducal celebrations of carnival. (Monteverdi was later to write for the first opera houses supported by ticket sales which opened in Venice). L'Orfeo has dramatic power and lively orchestration and is arguably the first example of a composer assigning specific instruments to parts in operas. It is also one of the first large compositions in which the exact instrumentation of the premiere has come down to us.
The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band that formed in Crawley, Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several lineup changes, with frontman, guitarist and main songwriter Robert Smith—known for his iconic wild hair, pale complexion, smudged lipstick and frequently gloomy and introspective lyrics—being the only constant member.

The members of The Cure first started releasing music in the late 1970s. Their first album, Three Imaginary Boys (1979), and early singles placed them as part of the post-punk and New Wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s the band's increasingly dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre. After the release of Pornography (1982), the band's future was uncertain and frontman Robert Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had cultivated. With the 1982 single "Let's Go to Bed" Smith began to inject more of a pop sensibility into the band's music. The Cure's popularity increased as the decade wore on, especially in the United States, where the songs "Just Like Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Friday I'm in Love" entered the Billboard Top 40 charts. By the start of the 1990s, The Cure were one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the world and have sold an estimated 27 million albums as of 2004. The Cure have released twelve studio albums and over thirty singles, with a thirteenth album, 4:13 Dream, due for release in October 2008.
Aerosmith
Aerosmith
Aerosmith is an American hard rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. By 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston.

They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972 and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album. In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars. The band did not fare well between 1980 and 1984, releasing a lone album, Rock in a Hard Place, which only went gold, failing to match the successes of their previous efforts.

Although Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records, it wasn't until the band sobered up and released 1987's Permanent Vacation that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s. After 38 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music.
Blackmore's Night
Blackmore's Night is a Renaissance-inspired folk rock band led by Ritchie Blackmore (electric and acoustic guitar) and Candice Night (lyricist and lead vocals).

The origins of the band lie in 1989 when Candice Night was working at a local New York rock music radio station. She first encountered Ritchie Blackmore, then with Deep Purple, at a football game in which he was playing. The two became romantically involved and discovered that they shared a passionate interest in the Renaissance.
After leaving Deep Purple in 1993 and recording the album Stranger in Us All in 1995, on which Night contributed backing vocals and some of the lyrics, Blackmore became interested in the idea of bringing Renaissance music to a contemporary audience. Night's personality and singing ability made her the natural choice as "frontwoman." In 1997 the pair were ready to launch the band, the name being a pun of their own names, and which would consist of themselves plus session musicians.
Away
Lavra Chorus
Tom Waits
Tom Waits
Thomas Alan Waits (born 7 December 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including The Fisher King, Coffee & Cigarettes, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Short Cuts. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

Lyrically, Waits' songs contain atmospheric portrayals of bizarre, seedy characters and places, although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known to the general public in the form of cover versions by more visible artists—for example, "Jersey Girl," performed by Bruce Springsteen; "Downtown Train" and "Tom Traubert's Blues" performed by Rod Stewart; and "Ol' '55," performed by the Eagles. Although Waits' albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations.

Waits currently lives in Sonoma County, California with his wife and their three children.
Stephen Flaherty
Stephen Flaherty
Stephen Flaherty (born September 18, 1960) is an American composer of musical theatre. He works most often in collaboration with the lyricist/bookwriter Lynn Ahrens. They are best known for writing the Broadway shows Once on This Island, which was nominated for eight Tony Awards, Seussical , which was nominated for the Grammy Award and Ragtime, which was nominated for twelve Tony Awards and won Best Original Score. Flaherty was also nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards with Lynn Ahrens for his songs and song score for the animated film musical Anastasia.
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